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China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan Plan Joint Railway

China and Kyrgyzstan have signed an agreement for a feasibility study in the Kirghiz section of the railway they will build with Uzbekistan. The railway is expected to facilitate trade and personnel exchanges between the 3 countries.

According to the agreement, China is to provide 20 million yuan, or the equivalent of 2.4 million US dollars' worth of financial aid to the feasibility study of the railway construction in Kyrgyzstan.

The Sino-Kirghiz-Uzbek railway will be a link between the Asian continent, rich in natural and human resources, and developed Western Europe.

Kirghiz Vice Prime Minister Kubanychbek Zhumaliyev, said, "Such a railway plays an important role in boosting the regional economy. It not only benefits China and Kyrgyzstan, but the Persian Gulf and West Asia as well."

For Central Asian states, such a railway is important because they lack seaports. And China has its own benefits.

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Zhang Zhigang said, "China and Central Asian countries are good neighbors. A railway can promote economic cooperation between us."

The Kirghiz Vice Prime Minister has just wrapped up his visit to south China's Hainan Province. He says his country and Hainan Airlines have agreed to set up a joint venture to operate an air-route in Kyrgyzstan.

(CCTV.com December 30, 2003)

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